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This Couple Broke All The Rules And Had The Best Wedding Ever.

Rachel and James Spezia planned their Sept 18, 2016 wedding from top to bottom without the help of a wedding planner...And.It.Rocked. Catered by a local food truck, gelato cart, and cannoli table, with decorations provided by wooden flower bouquets and Dollar Store tablecloths, the newlyweds say they wouldn't change anything.

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$2 "Mrs" earrings from Icing

Photo By Dawn Gratza

Rachel found her wedding jewelry at Icing over Labor Day weekend- two weeks before her big day. "They were having this huge sale and all their jewelry was on sale for $2, I couldn't pass these earrings up! I knew I wanted something more quirky than fancy dangly earrings and these 'Mrs' earrings certainly tickled my fancy..."

No Need For A Manicure?

Photo By Dawn Gratza

"I totally forgot to get a manicure, I ended up painting my own nails about two days before the wedding, but it chipped quite a bit between the last minute decorations and playing with my dog- eventually I was like, ehhhh oh well!"

We Got Ready Together!

Photo By Dawn Gratza

Although it wasn't their original plan, James and Rachel not only saw each other before the wedding, but they decided to spend the night before at home and got ready for the wedding together. "The main reason was because it just made sense, the way our wedding worked, I (Rachel) would either be waking up on my wedding day to an empty home or waking up next to the man of my dreams...and I chose him. Don't get me wrong, I had a wonderful 'Bride Tribe' but they lived almost an hour away from me and it just wasn't in my budget to get us a hotel room...and it is actually one of my favorite moments of our wedding day- him helping me get my shoes on and me helping him with his tie."

No Real Flowers

Photo By Dawn Gratza

Rachel and James decided against expensive real flower bouquets and opted for hand-made wooden flowers crafted by the artists at DMWoodart.com. "We were at an art festival in St. Charles, MO and saw the coolest wooden tulip bouquets- at that point we had fake flower bouquets, but deep down we really weren't happy with them, but real flower bouquets were out of the question. I bought every tulip bouquet they had that afternoon and ordered the rest online- and never regretted it."

Chuppah Courtesy of Home Depot

Photo By Dawn Gratza

"I was a big Pinterest-er, but quickly found out that most of those things just weren't possible, but since we were having a Jewish wedding, we knew we HAD to find a way to build our own chuppah (wedding canopy). It ended being a fun project that we did together, and the tablecloth that we used for the top was the same kind of tablecloths we used for other wedding decorations so it worked out well. Originally we had a lot of bells and whistles that we wanted to incorporate into our Chuppah, but the simple design ended up being better for us in the end."

My "2nd Dress' Was A Tank Top And Skirt (That I Ate Ice Cream In)

Photo By Dawn Gratza

"I was so happy to wear the white gown and feel like a princess, but when those 'I Do's' were done, that dress was shoved in a bag and I put on something way more comfy. Our "newlywed" photos were done at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard which had just been voted #1 ice cream in the world (not to any St. Louisian's surprise). We chose to do pictures there not because we thought it was romantic or held any particularly special spot in our hearts, we just wanted ice cream and knew we wouldn't get any of the gelato at our wedding..."

We Knew We Wanted A Food Truck From The Day We Got Engaged

Photo By Dawn Gratza

There was no doubt in their minds that they wanted a food truck to cater their wedding instead of the usual "chicken or beef" plates, so they enlisted the help of local pizza pub Pi Pizza and their Pi On The Spot Food Truck. Food Trucks are becoming increasingly popular at weddings, and despite the worry that the deep dish delights would be too messy for their guests, Rachel and James were thrilled with the end result--everyone loved the pizza!

ROAR-mantic Dino Bone Wedding Bands

Photo By Dawn Gratza

Rachel and James have a thing for dinosaurs (I mean, who doesn't) so they purchased dinosaur bone rings from Etsy that were designed by Robert W Bruce. They also went with the couple's first dance choice--the theme from Jurassic Park.

Cut The Cannoli

Photo By Dawn Gratza

The couple wanted to celebrate the groom's Italian background with cannoli from Piccione Pastry in St. Louis, MO in lieu of cake. Although it is not uncommon for weddings to feature anything from pancakes to donuts nowadays, the cannoli were a huge success and were punctuated with photographs from a trip to Italy Rachel took a few years back.

...And Don't Forget The Gelato!

Photo By Dawn Gratza

...and to go along with the cannoli were giant scoops of gelato from Gelato Di Riso located on The Hill (an Italian part of town). The couple decided to go with mint chocolate chip, vanilla, chocolate chip, and a "his and her" choice of strawberry and amaretto; and it did not disappoint.

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